Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Encounters with the Law

Since I started bike commuting, I haven't had an encounter with Columbus's Finest. In fact, I really haven't had an official encounter with them at any time, unless you consider questions about where I got various kilts I own to be official. I know police have seen me riding - they've passed me, or seen me at intersections, etc. And I've never been talked to or anything, so I guess I must be doing things right.

But if you read a lot of bike commuting blogs and forums (as I do), you invariably hear stories and anecdotes about people who think the police are hassling them or don't know the law regarding bicycling, etc. An example of this is someone who was stopped by the police after doing a track stand at a stoplight instead of putting his/her foot down, and the officer ticketed the rider for not stopping.

I personally always carry a copy of the Columbus traffic code as it pertains to bicycles with me so I can try to figure out where I've gone wrong (if I ever get stopped) or whether the officer is wrong. Because, let's face it - there are more bike commuters out there this spring than there have been in a darned long time (today's weather notwithstanding), and the possibility for cyclists being stopped is higher as a result. My wife said she saw a very reckless cyclist (cutting across two lanes of traffic near an intersection) get a ticket a few weeks ago, so you know they're watching.

Have YOU had run-ins with the police in Columbus? What are your impressions? Please add a comment if you have any experience with our boys in white.

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